"Occupy Town and Country" falls short

Jack Shapiro, Author

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.


Email This Story






Paly junior Hillel Zand holds signs protesting the closing of small businesses like Hobee’s and Korean Barbeque in Town and Country. Zand organized the event “Occupy Town and Country,” inviting over a hundred people to participate in the protest after school on Wednesday, but the showing was less than poor. Photo by Jack Shapiro.

Hillel Zand said he was not expecting a large crowd after school on Wednesday in protest of Town and Country Village. He was not disappointed.

The Facebook event was titled “Occupy Town and Country” and created by Zand, a Palo Alto High School junior, in response to the closing of several small business including Korean Barbeque and Hobee’s. It had invited nearly a hundred people, and 17 marked that they were going. However, besides a brief appearance by junior Jonathan Ziegler, Zand stood alone in his movement.

That is, until he was approached by two security guards.

“Two male security guards came up … and said ‘could you guys [Zand and Ziegler] do us a favor and go to the other side of the street,'” Zand said. “‘If you don’t we’re gonna have to take action.'”

The two decided to continue their protest on the other side of the street, until Ziegler departed, leaving Zand, once again, by himself on the Embarcadero curb.

Despite this, Zand said he was not disappointed with the event’s showing.

“I’m having fun,” Zand said. “It’s all about having fun … I mean the goal would be to let Town and Country know they’re being a little bit selfish closing these local, family-owned businesses … but if that doesn’t happen, we’ll just have some fun.”

Although Zand stood alone in his protest, he was not alone in his view. English teacher Lucy Filppu also supports Zand’s stance.

“I think more Paly kids should be picketing and making businesses notice you,” Filppu said. “I’m sad to hear he’s [Zand’s] alone. I’m amazed not more people are supporting it.”

“He’s my hero today,” she added with a smile.

Despite standing alone, Zand ended the day on a positive note.

“There’s not much we can do as kids … but what’s important is to have fun, making sure your voice gets out there,” Zand said. “Oh yeah, and sticking up for what you believe in.”